About Us

Mission

We are a non-profit ESO (entrepreneur support organization) comprised of seasoned professionals and entrepreneurs whose purpose is to help entrepreneurs in the St. Louis region launch and grow their businesses through customized, team-based mentoring and business education programs.

Vision

To help 1000 entrepreneurs successfully launch and/or grow their business, and to be nationally recognized for outstanding entrepreneur mentoring and development.

Core Values

  • Honesty – Honest feedback to our mentees and in all of our dealings, “Truth Tellers”
  • Integrity – Our clients interest is our first priority. There is confidentiality in all of our discussion
  • Service – We exist to serve our clients and help them become successful entrepreneurs. As such it is important to receive ongoing feedback from our clients, our community, and our mentors about the value we are providing so we can be successful in our mission
  • Altruism – We are here to selflessly serve the needs of our clients and our community
  • Expertise – As business mentors it is critical that our organization attract and maintain mentors with relevant expertise and experience for our clients
  • Learning – We are a teaching organization through our mentoring and education programs. As such it is important that our organization is always learning in order to improve our programs and the capabilities of our mentors.
  • Fun – We create an environment that makes starting your own business fun and exciting. We help fuel our client’s passion.
  • Empowerment – We are here to empower our clients to help “them” to achieve business success
  • Community – We desire to strengthen the entrepreneur capability and capacity in the region and will do that by fostering a community of entrepreneurs
  • Determination – We help our clients find solutions to problems and obstacles and hold them and ourselves accountable for success

How Do We Facilitate Success in the Entrepreneurship Community?

GVMS provides entrepreneurs a pool of mentors whose backgrounds are rich in experience, knowledge, connections, and success. Our mentors’ expertise and experience stretches across multiple fields and industries. See below for areas of expertise:

  • Engineering
  • Manufacturing
  • Food Manufacturing and Distribution
  • Marketing
  • Legal
  • Janitorial/Maintenance
  • Healthcare
  • Retail
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • Life Sciences
  • BioTech
  • Telecommunications
  • Banking
  • Accounting
  • Finance and Investments
  • Human Resources
  • Operations Management

GVMS is the only ESO that utilizes team-based mentoring. Team-based mentoring consists of two or more mentors to one venture. This way, the venture is able to receive multiple perspectives and an array of expertise simultaneously to strengthen their venture and help accelerate their growth.

Purpose of GVMS in a Nutshell

GVMS provides free services and resources to entrepreneurs to help encourage and foster social and economic growth in the St. Louis region by connecting people and resources.

How We Work

Entrepreneurs complete an intake form that outlines the needs of the venture and is the basis for our recommendation of the best resource to advance the business. There are three possible outcomes:

  • GVMS meet with you/your team to gather more information about your venture
  • GVMS ‘fast tracks’ your application and begins to form your mentoring team
  • GVMS refers you to one of over 30 Saint Louis Entrepreneur Support Organizations (ESO) best suited to your immediate needs

Quick Facts on GVMS

  • Operations began in 2007
  • 65 mentors volunteer
  • Specialty services are offered in accounting, marketing, legal and banking
  • Met with more than 800 entrepreneurs
  • Mentored more than 150 ventures
  • Staffed nearly 100% by volunteers from the community
  • Funded entirely through donations and corporate sponsorships

History

GVMS was brought to St. Louis by way of the VMS program @ MIT in Boston. In 2007, Innovate VMS, now Gateway VMS was created as the first affiliate of the team mentoring program recognized by the Kaufmann Foundation for its best practices in mentoring.